Video | Agriculture | Confidence | Economy | Energy | Employment | Finance | Media | Property | RBNZ | Science | SOEs | Tax | Technology | Telecoms | Tourism | Transport | Search

 


Abano shareholder lobbied directors in bid to oust chairman

Abano shareholder lobbied directors in bid to oust chairman Janes, letter shows

By Paul McBeth

April 15 (BusinessDesk) - Abano Healthcare’s biggest shareholder and former director Peter Hutson lobbied directors as early as last August to support the removal of chairman Trevor Janes and change strategy at the health clinic investor, according to a letter sent to Janes.

Healthcare Industry Ltd and Steamboat Capital, the entities representing Hutson and fellow rebel shareholder James Reeves, have given Abano until tomorrow to respond to a request for a shareholders’ meeting to re-run the vote on Janes’ re-election last November.

Hutson, Reeves and Archer Capital were rebuffed in an attempted takeover of the company and in turn this week rejected a $12.9 million cash offer from Abano yesterday to buy out the 50 percent of Bay International that Hutson owns.

Hutson held “at length one-on-one” discussions with the company’s non-executive directors in August last year where he “expressed my concerns about the company’s directions,” and the attempted Archer Capital-backed takeover would have been “a diplomatic solution to the problem,” he said in a letter to Janes on April 10.

The letter says he went public with his concerns in September, and since the aborted takeover had approached deputy chair Susan Paterson “seeking to discuss continuing underperformance and rapidly deteriorating standards of corporate governance.” He had wanted to “discuss the state of the company and specifically your position.”

Hutson released the letter in response to Abano’s April 10 statement “that Hutson/Reeves continue to refuse to engage with the board, despite numerous invitations to meet with the full Abano board and/or board representatives.”

Hutson said he repeatedly sought to meet with Paterson, but without success.

“It represents a new low in Abano’s ethics for which Mr Janes is accountable,” Hutson said in a statement.

Abano, and Janes himself, have ruled out a re-run of the vote, and at this stage, Hutson and Reeves have only called for the meeting without starting the process required for a meeting to be held.

An extraordinary general meeting can be called at the request of 5 percent of a company’s shareholders, which the pair’s 19 percent stake exceeds. They have nominated May 27 for a shareholders’ meeting.

Hutson quit Abano’s board last September after the company questioned his ability to remain a director while mounting a takeover for the business. The takeover bid was pitched as high as $7.80 a share, but rejected, relying in part on a report by investment house Grant Samuel, which Hutson and Reeves says gave an inflated valuation.

They issued an alternative valuation report from KordaMentha, which valued Hutson’s Bay Audiology stake at between $6.3 million and $9.4 million, compared with the $12.9 million cash offer made by Abano.

Hutson said yesterday’s offer to buy him out illustrated what was wrong with the company.

“They think they can solve their problems by buying things with shareholders’ money,” he said. “They need to fix what they have, not engage in attempts to change the subject to deflect attention from the company’s poor dental performance.”

The shares were unchanged at $6.40 today, and have edged up 0.5 percent this year.

(BusinessDesk)

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Business Headlines | Sci-Tech Headlines

 

BusinessDesk: APN's NZME Sees Future In Paywalls, Growth In Digital Sales

APN News & Media has touted a single newsroom concept for its NZME unit in New Zealand, similar to what Germany's Die Welt uses, saying an 'integrated sales proposition' is helping it win market share, including ... More>>

Labour Party: Global Milk Prices Now Lowest In 6 Years

The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices ... More>>

BusinessDesk: NZ Inflation Expectations Creep Higher In June Survey

May 19 (BusinessDesk) - New Zealand businesses lifted their expectations for inflation over the next two years, sapping any immediate pressure on the Reserve Bank to cut interest rates, and prompting the kiwi dollar to jump higher. More>>

BusinessDesk: Lower Fuel Costs Drive Down NZ Producer Input, Output Prices

May 19 - Producer input and output prices fell in the first quarter, mainly reflecting lower fuel costs and weakness in prices of meat and dairy products. More>>

Media: Fairfax Media NZ Announces Senior Editorial Team

Fairfax Media New Zealand has today confirmed its new editorial leadership team, as part of a transformation of its newsrooms aimed at enhancing local and national journalism across digital and print. More>>

Science: Flavonoids Reduce Cold And Cough Risk

Flavonoids reduce cold and cough risk Research from the University of Auckland shows eating flavonoids – found in green tea, apples, blueberries, cocoa, red wine and onions – can significantly reduce the risk of catching colds and coughs. The research, ... More>>


BusinessDesk: RBNZ House Alert Speech The Catalyst For Government Action

Prime Minister John Key all but conceded that pressure from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand for concerted action on rampant Auckland house prices was one of the main catalysts for the government's weekend announcements about tightly ... More>>

BusinessDesk: How To Fall Foul Of The New Housing Tax Rules: Tips From IRD

Just because you rented out your investment property doesn't absolve you from paying tax, says the Inland Revenue Department in a summary of commonly made mistakes by non-professional property investors when it comes to their tax liability.More>>

Legal: Superdiversity Law, Policy And Business Stocktake Announced

Mai Chen, Managing Partner at Chen Palmer New Zealand Public and Employment Law Specialists and Adjunct Professor of Law at the University of Auckland, today announced the establishment ... More>>

Housing: More House Price Gains Expected

House price expectations remain high, with a net 56% of respondents expecting house prices will increase. Fears of higher interest rates are fading, consistent with the RBNZ’s signals this year. Affordability and a lack of houses for ... More>>

TDDA: State-Of-The-Art Drug Testing Laboratory To Open In Auckland

World leading drug testing agencies, The Drug Detection Agency (TDDA) and Omega Laboratories, open New Zealand laboratory More>>

Network: Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband Into Wellington

Bigpipe Launches Ultra-Fast Broadband into Wellington Naked broadband provider Bigpipe has extended its national reach, announcing today, the launch of its unlimited UFB offering into Wellington. The Spark Venture business is giving Wellingtonians the ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Business
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news